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Saturday, December 3, 2016

4 Setbacks to Ordered Steps

 "The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way" (KJV). Ordered means directed and established. Directions are not clear unless they are organized, systematic, arranged or laid out in a specific manner to achieve a specific result. Order is then the opposite of chaos.  If this is true, then why is it so hard to work efficiently toward completing our 'ordered' goals? In my own faith walk, I've come to 4 major areas that interfere with my ability to adhere to the ordered steps the Lord has given me:

1.  Putting Energy into the Wrong Things
I call these the distractors in my life.  The things that make me feel like I'm doing something, but my heart knows this is not my assignment.

2.  Working in Reluctance
The Lord needs our YES.  Having the wrong attitude will not produce fruit in a timely manner.  I've found it more beneficial to sit down and pray about why I don't want to do the task, than to pretend I want to do the work.

3.  Comparing
Although I should be well beyond participating in this terrible habit, but on a occasion, one to many scrolls through social media can leave me feeling like I'm on the wrong course. I got it all wrong, and I'm behind where I "should" be in all areas of life.

4.  Proceeding with Caution (AKA Doubt)
Sometimes, I actually receive a green like to move in a certain area, give the Lord my YES to that assignment, and instead of jumping in, I proceed with caution. The fear of being wrong, the doubt of whether I heard correctly, seems to find its way into my mental stream and dismantle any and all momentum I thought I had acquired to tackle the task.

Staying in the will of God is a series of choices one has to make on a daily basis. The bible says that the Word of God is a lamp for [our] feet, and a light to [our] paths. (Psalm 119:105)  If we diligently and wholeheartedly believe that to be true, we will always find clues of revelation along the road of ordered steps.


Order My Steps

Sunday, January 24, 2016

6 Life Lessons From My Locs

The 'Fro'
This week marks two years for my sisterlocks. (1/28/16)  I've grown so accustomed to having my locs that I can't believe it's only been 2-years! While reflecting on the two year journey, I thought back on a conversation I had with someone interested in locking.  The conversation made me realize that the locking process makes for the perfect object lesson for some of life’s key principles. 

Breakage Makes Room for New Growth

February 2014
Throughout the loc process there can be some breakage. Correction, there WILL be breakage. I personally experienced a lot of breakage, some due to dryness, some due to stress and diet, and others due to thinning hair.  At one point, I only wore my hair pinned to one side to cover a broken fuzz patch of hair concentrated in the center of my head. #notcute This particular area of my head refused to hold a loc, and remained grossly shorter than the rest of my hair for a year and a half. At the time, I was terribly frustrated and embarrassed with my fuzz patch.  However, like life, things will break, and no matter how the breakage occurs, new growth is right around the corner if you endure.

There are No Shortcuts
February 2014
Throughout the first several month after installation, I consistently tried shortcuts.  "I don’t have to use that shampoo", "I don’t have to bantu knot my hair just to wash it", "Why shouldn’t I be able to do an apple cider vinegar rinse?".  Taking my own advice, I created some major setbacks for my locs.  Eventually, the locs unraveled (slipped) to the point that my loctician had to relock at least half of my head. It was like starting over. Not following directions cost me money and time. Similarly, I learned the same for life.  Some processes are meant to be followed as is, and any adaptation that we feel is better, easier or faster, will lead to squandered time and money.

Keep it Simple 
July 2014
Hair products.  
I found as I was locking there was very little I could put in my hair that wouldn’t create a seemingly unwashable grimy residue.  Shampoo in itself, would stick to my locs and create a gross grey film.   Over time, I realized that very little product/oil is necessary to keep my locs looking good.  I now use one water based natural leave in conditioner and coconut oil.  

In life we equally have to embrace simplicity. It’s not necessary to buy into the next new thing, when what you need may be in your house already or in the grocery aisle. Additionally, every situation you encounter may very well be simpler than you’re making it. If someone wants to talk to you, they will. If you want to talk to someone, speak.  If the relationship causes strife, let it go. If the relationship gives you peace, stay with it.

November 2014
It takes time for your hair to actually lock.  During this period, I had a lot of loose ends I had to camouflage and blend into the rest of my hair.   In life, there are also a lot of loose ends we simply just have to wait to naturally come together. 

 Lint is Annoying
April 2015

Whether on your clothes or in your locs, lint is just annoying.

Don’t Fear the Process: You are a Worthy Investment
December 2015
I was contemplating locing long before I made the leap of faith to start.  The biggest fears that prevented me from making the commitment were cost and process.  Sisterlocks are expensive to install and maintain, particularly for someone like me who never had a bi-weekly salon routine.  On top of the fear of adding a ‘bill’ to my already tight budget, there was this, “nappiness” fear.  I tried to envision what my hair would look like in the end, but each time was snapped back into reality KNOWING that was not how my hair would look in the beginning.  Not knowing how long, I’d have to live with ‘rough' looking hair, was enough for me not to commit to locking. 

In life, there are also many times of uncertainty as everyone journeys through his/her own processes, but ultimately we should never be so afraid of change, that we miss our opportunity to grow.

Hair Credit: Tammi Gibson +Naturally Mine 
In the end, I know “I am not my hair”, but I'm glad I embraced the unknown and invested in something new.